Can’t get your Application Compatibility Tools (ACT) MSI to run in Group Policy? Read on…

OK, you followed the instructions and created your MSI file and chose to use software distribution via Group Policy as your method to deploy to the clients you want to scan for Windows 7 migration… great until you get an error that includes “Software Installation was unable to read the MSI file…  The following error was encountered: SQL query syntax invalid or unsupported.”

What is that? Simple, the automatically created MSI needs a update to its internal tables. Don’t worry it’s not that hard to fix… The solution is to use Orca that can edit the MSI file. Download the free Orca tool from A set of Help files are provided with Orca. To obtain the orca.exe and the Orca documentation you must download and install the Windows Installer SDK, which is provided as an Orca.msi file. After you install the Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK), double click the Orca.msi file to install Orca. (Installing the SDK can take quite a long time, up to 30 minutes.

You do not have to download and install everything, You can also only install the minimum needed that includes Orca.msi.)


Orca.Msi is then typically located at: C:Program FilesMicrosoft SDKsWindowsv7.0Bin

Run Orca, File/Open to browse to and open the problematic MSI file. On the menu bar select Tables>Add table>check off/select & add the Upgrade table and last, but not least, finally save the MSI file… That’s all folks!


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